Skip to content

Children's Access to Play in Schools (CAPS)

The Children’s Access to Play in Schools (CAPS) project was designed as a collaborative knowledge transfer and exchange to develop innovative practice in terms of supporting children’s play in schools.

Play is a defining feature of childhood and the basis for good physical and mental health, wellbeing and development; opportunities for self-organised playing have decreased in recent decades, with concurrent increases in obesity, neurodiversity and mental health problems. Schools are well placed to facilitate opportunities for children to engage in free play, and this was the foundation for the project.

The CAPS project drew on the UK model of playwork and on the experiences of OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning) in improving play times and play spaces in primary schools, as well as on previous Erasmus+-funded project (VIPEER and ARTPAD), working with partners from Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

Partners produced National Adaptation Plans to enable them to adapt the project resources and methods to their own circumstances. Quality Criteria were developed that schools can produce evidence for to show how play-friendly they are. To support this, a training course and a handbook for schools were also produced. Materials and processes were piloted with schools in each partner country, with lasting differences being made at practice and policy levels.

Logo: Play-friendly Schools; Funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union
quote icon

by Leonie Burton

link icon

Find out more about this research project on the Play-friendly schools website, and follow CAPS on Facebook

link icon

This research forms part of the Sport, Exercise, Health and Wellbeing research priority area.